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‘Hollow’ TPB (review)

Hollow has characters that are endearing and a sense of style that teases danger, but not too much danger. It’s never too dark, but just dances around the edges. Written in part by Shannon Watters, one of the creators of the all ages adventure Lumberjanes, you can certainly feel the Lumberjanes influence. Lumberjanes and Hollow share a sense of fun and empathy for all the characters. There is danger and tension, but the stakes never feel life and death.

Izzy Crane is new to the famous town of Sleepy Hollow. Her Mom has moved them in from the big city. Sleepy Hollow, like many small towns, tries to live off one thing that they are famous for. In the case of Sleepy Hollow, this town is famous for the tale of the Headless Horseman.

Inundated with the commercialization of the Headless Horseman, and with rumors of actual sightings, Izzy is skeptical of the whole Headless Horseman business. Starting a new school, building a new life, she initially finds the Headless Horseman more than a little silly.

Izzy finds herself drawn to Vicky Van Tassel, part of a family with a long history in Sleepy Hollow. Vicki is central to the upcoming Sleepy Hollow celebration, but she is tired of participating in the small town ritual. The feeling of outgrowing an imposed tradition is outweighed by fear when she is pursued by the actual Headless Horseman. Now Izzy and Vicki, along friend Croc Byun, team up. Together they are set to protect Vicki. Along the way, they unravel the true meaning of the Headless Horseman, and discover greater dangers ahead for Vicki and the town of Sleepy Hollow.

Shannon Watters, co-writing with Branden Boyer White, creates a world that is sweet and fizzy. The quirky, small American town that is beset by magical forces is nothing new, and the influence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be felt. The characters are just so sweet and full of good nature that the reader probably won’t care. The relationship between the main characters, and a surprise addition to their crew, shows a sense of caring. The story never becomes thin or hokey. The whole book carries itself with a sense of genuineness.

Berenice Nelle’s art makes the whole thing work. It is pop fun, but the emotions are all displayed. Characters are emotionally expressive without being too cartoonish. The scenes that lean into the mystical feel heightened while giving just a slight hint of danger.

Hollow is a fun Young Adult book. It would be a great surprise gift to the costumed reveler In your family.



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